Thursday, March 31, 2011

Palestinian detainees' centers raise health concerns

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian prisoners' organizations called for attention to the health condition of detainees in Israeli jails this week.

On Tuesday, Director of the Center for Defense of liberties and civil rights 'Hurriyyat,' Hilmi Al-Araj, said that the Israeli intelligence service,the Shabak, is responsible for the life of Haitham Salhieh, 27, who has been detained since November 6, 2002, and sentenced to two life sentences and three years in a Beersheba prison.

The Israeli prison service gave Salhieh immune-system weakening medications, in an assassination attempt, the center alleged.

Tuesday afternoon, dozens gathered in Al-Manara square in the West Bank city of Ramallah, in support of Salhieh, and calling for international pressure on Israel to release him.

On Wednesday, the Prisoners' society in Ramallah raised the case of detainee Ahed Abu Ghilemh, who has been kept in solitary confinement for over a year without explanation, according to his wife.

The center said Abu Ghilemh has been kept in isolation since 2010, and in March 2011, this was renewed for another year, quoting his wife.

On Thursday, the Palestinian detainees’ center in Tubas appealed for the life of detainee Khaled Al-Shawish, who suffers from paralysis.

Around 700 Palestinian prisoners remained in Israeli jails in 2010, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

Al-Shawish, who is serving a life sentence at Al-Ramla prison in Israel, is in a critical health condition, according to the center,

We don’t want Israel to release our sons as dead bodies, we want them alive and in a good health condition, the center said.

Around 7,000 Palestinian prisoners remained in Israeli jails in 2010, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

Female ex-detainee: Support sick prisoners

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian female ex-detainee called Wednesday for attention to chronically ill prisoners in Israeli jails, in a ministerial reception in Ramallah.

Nada Derbas, 23, said prisoners needed concrete support and not condemnation. Urgent help was needed for the many detainees with chronic illnesses, she added.

Hosting the reception in his Ramallah office, Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe stressed that all Palestinian prisoners must be supported, particularly women detainees, both during and after their jail term.

Derbas, from Jerusalem, was released on March 7, 2011, having spent four years in Israeli jail.

They received the ex-detainee Nada Derbas from Jerusalem after she was arrested for 5 years.

Also attending the reception were members of Derbas' family, deputy prisoners' minister Ziad Abu Ein, and director of legal affairs Jawad El- Amawy.

There are 38 Palestinian women remaining in Israeli prisons, the minister noted.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Paralyzed detainee enters 22nd year in prison

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian detainee who has been paralyzed for three years entered his 22nd year in Israeli detention on Tuesday, Gaza's Detainees' Ministry said.

Israeli forces detained Ibrahim Mash'al, 47, in 1990. He was accused of possessing arms and developing weapons for Palestinian resistance fighters.

Masha'al is from Jerusalem and was 25 years old when he was imprisoned.

He suffers from heart disease and has been paralyzed since 2008. Israeli prison authorities allowed him to see a doctor, but he was not told what is condition was, the ministry said in a statement.

Nablus residents plant trees for political prisoners

NABLUS (Ma'an) – Nablus governor Jibrin Al-Bakri and Detainees’ Minister Issa Qaraqe joined Nablus residents Monday to plant trees in the names of Palestinians detained in Israel's prisons.

Detainees' parents, human rights organizations and former prisoners participated in the tree-planting to show support for political prisoners.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Detainee's mother appeals to save son's sight

TULKAREM (Ma'an) -- The mother of a Palestinian detained in Israel appealed Monday to human rights organizations to help her son, who is at risk of losing his sight.

Iyad Nasser lost one of his eyes after being tortured by prison guards at Israel's Ashkelon detention center, his mother said.

He was at risk of losing his other eye, which required urgent medical attention, and also had a pancreatic disorder, she added.

Israeli forces detained Nasser in 2001 and sentenced him to 30 years in prison.

Palestinian Authority Detainees' Minister Issa Qaraqe visited Nasser's parents and promised to follow up on his case.

Palestinians Start Hunger Strike in Israeli Prisons


28.03.11 - 16:32 Palestinian detainees in five Israeli jails started hunger strikes on Monday in protest against their inhuman treatment and in solidarity with Hamas leaders Ahmed Saadat and Abbas al-Sayyad.
(PNN Archive)
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club stated that prisoners at Nafha, Ramon, Eichel and Ashkelon prisons and some parts of the Negev prison are to refuse meals from today in protest against Israeli actions including the humiliation of the Israeli authorities’ inspection of their families during visits, the policy of solitary confinement and a general lack of a response by the Israeli Prison Service to their demands.  The PPS said that the abuses taking place in these prisons are not acceptable under international law.Al-Sayyad has been on hunger strike for twenty days and is said to be in poor health while Saadat has been placed in solitary confinement.
Over 7000 Palestinians have been detained in Israeli prisons and detention centres. Conditions in these jails are said to be poor and many prisoners suffer from chronic illnesses. According to some estimates up to one fifth of the Palestinian population has been imprisoned at some point since 1967. The future of these prisoners is considered a key element of any possible peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

Palestinian detainees announce hunger strike
Published Monday 28/03/2011 23:49
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian detainees in five prisons in Israel announced a hunger strike Monday in protest over their treatment.

Prisoners held in Israel's Nafha, Raymon, Eshel, Ashkelon and Negev prisons will participate in the strike to demand an end to abuse by prison guards, a prisoners' center said.

The detainees were also demanding that Israeli prison authorities stopped the practice of solitary confinement, the center added.

The center called on human rights organizations to intervene on behalf of political prisoners, noting that many Palestinians had died in Israeli custody.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

PLC calls on its Ukraine counterpart to pressure for release of Abu Sisi

[ 27/03/2011 - 10:06 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The chairmanship of the Palestinian legislative council sent a message to its Ukraine counterpart calling on it to pressure its government to demand release of Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi who was abducted by Israeli agents from the Ukraine.
Israeli intelligence agents kidnapped Abu Sisi, who is married to a woman from the Ukraine, while boarding a train en route to Kiev on 19/2/2011.
The message sent by PLC first deputy speaker Dr. Ahmed Bahar held the Ukraine authorities fully responsible for the abduction.
He warned that the image of the Ukraine would be tarnished in the Arab and Islamic countries if Kiev did not speed up an end to the issue of Abu Sisi.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Israeli forces arrest activists in Nabi Saleh

25 March 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

Yesterday afternoon nine people were arrested at a demonstration in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh. Among the arrested were two ISM activists along with one Danish, one Palestinian and five Israeli protesters. Both ISM activists report being beaten by the Israeli military whilst non-violently demonstrating. The Swedish activist was pepper-sprayed in the face before having his hands tied behind his back and being dragged around a corner and hit in the face several times causing his glasses to break. The other ISM activist, a woman from the United States was hit in her chest whilst being arrested. The third international from Denmark also had his hands tied before being dragged two metres by his hood and then beaten. Both men were left with their hands tied for over two hours.
The weekly demonstration had been going only a matter of minutes when the army began firing teargas and sound grenades into the crowd, and later entered Palestinian houses to look for activist to arrest. Nabi Saleh has a population of approximately 500 residents and is located 30 kilometers northeast of Ramallah along highway 465. Every Friday around 100 un-armed demonstrators leave the village center in an attempt to reach a spring which borders land confiscated by Israeli settlers. The District Coordination Office has confirmed the spring is on Palestinian land, but nearly a kilometer before reaching the spring, the demonstration is routinely met with dozens of soldiers armed with M16 assault rifles, tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and percussion grenades.
The demonstrations protest Israel’s apartheid, which has manifested itself in Nabi Saleh through land confiscation. The illegal Halamish (Neve Zuf) settlement, located opposite Nabi Saleh, has illegally seized nearly of half of the village’s valuable agricultural land. In January 2010, hundreds of the village residents’ olive trees were uprooted by settlers. Conflict between the settlement and villagers reawakened due to the settlers’ attempt to re-annex Nabi Saleh land despite an Israeli court decision in December 2009 that awarded the property rights of the land to Nabi Saleh residents. The confiscated land of Nabi Saleh is located on the Hallamish side of Highway 465 and is just one of many expansions of the illegal settlement since its establishment in 1977.

Updated on March 26, 2011

Palestinian detainee suffers stroke

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man detained in an Israeli prison for over 30 years had a stroke on Friday, Detainees' Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe said.

Qaraqe said Israel's prison administration was responsible for Akram Mansour's life. The 51-year-old from Qalqiliya was detained by Israeli forces in 1980.

The Ahrar detainees' center said Mansour also has cancer, and showed symptoms of a stroke on Thursday night.

Mansour's parents urged Israeli authorities to release their son.

Lawyer: Detainee in urgent need of surgery

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian detainee Ma'zouz Bsharat, held in Israel's Shatta prison, is in urgent need of surgery, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Bsharat has already undergone one surgery, but reacted badly to medication he was given which caused him to vomit constantly, the lawyer said.

Israeli forces detained Bsharat in 2003. He is sentenced to life in prison.

He is from Tubas, in the northern West Bank, and is married with three children.

Father: Israeli authorities sentenced my teens

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Palestinian detainees’ center in Ramallah reported that Ofer court sentenced Amir Al-Bastami, 14, and ordered him to pay 2,000 shekels and Mahdi Al-Bastami, 13, ordered to pay 4,000 shekels.

Their father said that his children are innocent and that it is a crime to sentence them considering their young age. The detainees’ center condemned the detention of Palestinian teenagers and rejects the Israeli policy.

The center reported that the number of Palestinian kids detained at Israeli prisons reached 221.

Israeli court extends detention of Abu Sisi; orders media blackout on the case

[ 25/03/2011 - 08:38 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- An Israeli court handling the case of kidnapped Palestinian engineer Dhurar Abu Sisi has extended the detention of the engineer for eight more days after Israeli interrogators failed to prove the alleged charges against him.
Hebrew sources revealed that the Israeli Mossad obtained the permission of the "state prosecutor" to extend the detention of Abu Sisi for eight days more that prompted the court to grant the extension although he has been under interrogation for more than a month now.
According to the sources, the government prosecutor wasn’t satisfied with the results of the investigation because "he couldn’t indict Abu Sisi based on them". He, however, urged the investigators to extract more confessions from the Palestinian engineer.
The court held the hearing behind closed doors and ordered media blackout on the case.
Abu Sisi is the operation engineer of the Gaza power plant. He was kidnapped last February 19 by the Israeli Mossad while in the Ukraine applying for citizenship being married to a Ukrainian woman.
Family, wife, and children of Abu Sisi urged the Israeli authorities to immediately release and return him to his children.


Detention of Gazan Engineer Extended by Israeli Magistrates Court

Friday March 25, 2011 15:37 by Circarre Parrhesia - IMEMC & Agencies
The detention of an engineer from the Gaza Strip, Dirar Abu Sissi, has been extended by seven days by the magistrates court in Petah Tikva.
Diria Abu Sisi -
Diria Abu Sisi -
Application for extension is only permissible with the special approval of the country’s Attorney General when the period of detention exceeds 30 days, although this law is only applicable within the State of Israel, and not for the so-called Civil Administration that governs the West Bank, where administrative detention can continue indefinitely without charge.

Abu Sissi was traveling by train in the Ukraine when he was kidnapped by Israeli agents and was flown out the country. The Ukraine has denied any involvement in the abduction of Abu Sissi.

A gag order was placed on the coverage of the case in Israel upon Abu Sissi’s arrest, but 10 days ago the order was amended to allow the publication, in Israel, any information already distributed in the international press.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Bassem Tamimi, Coordinator of Nabi Saleh Popular Committee

24 March 2011 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
Bassem Tamimi, coordinator of the Nabi Saleh popular committee, was arrested when dozens of soldiers raided his house at noon today beating his wife and daughter in the process. Only yesterday the military court had ordered the indefinite remand of Naji Tamimi, another member of the Nabi Saleh population committee.
Minutes after Bassem Tamimi entered his home to prepare for a meeting with foreign diplomats, dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed his house at the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh and arrested him. The soldiers tried to prevent Tamimi’s wife, Nariman Tamimi, from filming the arrest, hitting her and trying to grab the camera from her. When she passed the camera to her 10 year-old daughter, the soldiers grabbed it from her using violence and threw it outside in the mud.
Tamimi is one of the prominent figures of the Palestinian popular struggle in the West Bank and considered by many as the engine behind Nabi Saleh’s grassroots mobilization against the occupation and for the protection of the village’s lands from settler take over.
Just yesterday, another leading protest organizer from Nabi Saleh, Naji Tamimi, was indicted on charges of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations. The court extended his arrest until the end of legal proceedings. Bassem Tamimi is expected to face the same charges.
Over the past two months, the army has arrested eighteen of Nabi Saleh’s residents on protests related suspicions. Half of those arrested are minors, the youngest of whom merely eleven.
The majority of recent Nabi Saleh arrested are made based on incriminations extracted from a fourteen year-old boy from the village, recently arrested at gun-point during a military night raid. The boy was then subjected to verbal and emotional pressure during his interrogation, denied his fundamental right to legal consul and interrogated in absence of his parents, albeit obliged by law. The interrogators have also never bothered informing the boy of his right to remain silent.
Ever since the beginning of the village’s struggle against settler takeover of their lands, in December of 2009, the army has conducted 64 arrests related to protest in the village. As the entire village numbers just over 500 residents, the number constitutes a gross 10% of its population.
Tamimi’s arrest last night corresponds to the systematic arrest of protest leaders all around the West Bank, as in the case of the villages of Bil’in and Ni’ilin.
Only recently the Military Court of Appeals has aggravated the sentence of Abdallah Abu Rahmah from the village of Bilin, sending him to 16 months imprisonment on charges of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations. Abu Rahmah was released last week.
The arrest and trial of Abu Rahmah has been widely condemned by the international community, most notably by Britain and EU foreign minister, Catherin Ashton. Harsh criticism of the arrest has also been offered by leading human rights organizations in Israel and around the world, among them B’tselem, ACRI, as well as Human Rights Watch, which declared Abu Rahmah’s trial unfair, and Amnesty International, which declared Abu Rahmah a prisoner of conscience.

Updated on March 24, 2011


Head of Popular Committee in Nabi Saleh Arrested

Friday March 25, 2011 16:17 by Circarre Parrhesia - IMEMC & Agencies
Bassem at-Tamimi, the head of the Popular Committee Against the Wall & Settlements in an-Nabi Saleh, has been arrested by the Israeli military on Thursday.
At-Tamimi was preparing to meet with foreign diplomats when the Israeli military raided the home, assaulting his wife Nariman as she attempted to record the arrest on video, according to Israeli journalist Joseph Dana.

The arrest follows the detention of 14 year old Islam at-Tamimi, two months ago who, it is alleged, gave coerced confession that he had thrown stones at the Israeli military during the regular Friday protest held in the village.

The actions mirror the imprisonment of Abdullah Abu Rahme, a school teacher and head of the Popular Committee in the village of Bi’lin, who was convicted to 16 months under similar charges following another case of alleged coerced confession from a child.

Abu Rahme’s conviction was widely condemned, including by Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, who called Abu Rahme a “human rights defender”.

Child and Father Abducted From Sea


23 March 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

Four days. That is the time lapse between the attack on Yasser Nasser Bakr, who was shot in the abdomen by the Israeli Navy, and yesterday’s abduction at sea of his father and brother. At 6 am on March 20th, Nasser Bakr and his 15 year old son Alaam set out to fish in a small boat of 6.5 meters length, joined by three other hasaka’s. At 9 am a gunboat rapidly approached them and the four boats consequently started making way for Gaza’s harbor.
“Our boat is ridiculously slow though, it has a motor of only 8 horsepower. So, while the others managed to escape, we ended up on our own. They got to us and ordered us to stop. I answered that I was going home and continued heading back. Once again they ordered us to stop, but I continued to set sail towards the beach. It was only four days after they shot my son Yasser and I just didn’t want to obey them. That’s when they opened fire on us, leaving me with no choice but to stop.”
The story continues and is almost an exact copy of the stories of the Al-Laham, Al-Hissi and other members of the Bakr family. All of them are fishermen who have been abducted in the past months and whose boats remain confiscated.
Nasser and his son were forced to undress and jump into the water to swim towards the gunboat. Once in Ashdod, policemen asked them why they crossed the border.
“We have a GPS on board and we were only 2.7 nautical mile out!”
By 6 pm, Alaam and his father were brought to Erez, where the Israeli intelligence questioned them again. An aerial photo showed the details of Gaza’s port in which they showed a keen interest. “They wanted to know where the entrance is and where the authorities are located. After our evasive answers, they told us they would return our boat in the coming days.”
The last statement sounds like an evil joke: of all the hasaka’s that the Israeli Navy has confiscated, not a single one has returned to Gaza. The loss does not only affect the Bakr family, but also Mahmoud Abu Awedi, the owner of the boat. He lends his boat to the Bakr family when he is playing the drum at parties.
“When the blockade was at 12 nautical miles, our monthly income was at average 30,000 shekels a month. Now, we earn 300 shekels a month. It doesn’t bring in any money, but without fishing, I’d go crazy, the sea and the boats are my life.”
Alaam has been silently listening to his father’s account of yesterday’s events, and like any boy in puberty he claims not to have been afraid of the Israeli Navy. He has good reason to fear them though; on July 5th 2010, when he was just 14 years old, Alaam was shot twice in the abdomen by the Israeli Navy. He shows us the bullet wounds, with a shy boyish smile. “It’s healed reasonably well, but I’m less fit. I’m easily exhausted when walking for example and feel pain when I’ve been too active.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Village of Awarta faced mass arrests, violence and massive destruction during five days of curfew

Posted on: March 20, 2011 

19 March 2011 | International Solidarity Movement
During the five day curfew in the village of Awarta, south of Nablus, the Israeli military raided homes and detained around 300 people, the youngest 14 years old. Some of the men were taken to the local boy school were they had to leave their finger prints and DNA and some were taken to the military base at Huwwra checkpoint. According to mayor, Qays Awwad, 55 men are still in Israeli custody. Some of the detainees reported that they had been abused by the soliders while they were detained and handcuffed. It has been reported that a 75 year old woman was handcuffed and had to sit on the ground while the soliders went through her home, and that an 80-year-old woman was beaten by soliders.

Three scandinavian ISM activists were in Awarta during the five day curfew, from saturday afternoon until wednesday noon. From the roofs of people’s houses they witnessed how the Israeli soliders went into homes, arrested men and made the familes wait outside while they raided their homes resulting in large scale damage to property. The ISM activists also visited homes that soldiers had searched to find broken windows, cut fuse-cables, smashed furniture, and polluted drinking water caused by Israeli soldiers.
Hundreds of soldiers entered the village in military vehicles early on the morning of the 12th of march, following the murder of five members of a settler family in the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Itamar. According to the soliders, they were searching for the murderer and would continue until they found one. One soldier told ISM activists, ”we will search this village until we find someone.” In the process of ”searching” the houses the sodiers damaged framed pictures, funiture, Tv-sets, gasheaters, smashed holes in floors and walls, stole money and jewlery, and poured liquids over computers. The Israeli forces occupied around 30 houses to sleep in during the four nights they remained in Awarta. In some of the houses they evicted the families who had to seak shelter outdoors or in neighbours homes during the night; in others they forced the families to stay in one room as the soldiers occupied the rest of the house. In occupied houses the sodiers deficated in the rooms and used the famlies bed sheets as toilet paper.
Alot of the houses were ”searched” and wrecked up to three times over five days. The soldiers did not seem to follow any apperent pattern when choosing which house to search or who to arrest, ”It all looked very random ” one activist said. In at least one case, on monday the 14th of march, the soldiers still did not know the name of the man that they had previously arrested and had to ask his family for it. The man that they had arrested was village council member Salim Qawaric. Approxametely 25 soliders entered his house causing severe damage on the family’s property while the family had to wait in the backyard. The following day the soldiers came back and searched the home once again resulting in further damage to the family’s home and property.
The ISM activists were not allowed to take pictures, and when they did it anyway, they soldiers pointed their guns at them shouting: ”Do not take pictures!” One of the activists had her memory card stolen by a soldier who took her camera from her by force.
During the curfew many families ran short of gas, food, water and medicine.
There have been numerous reports of physical abuse. According to eyewitnesses, Mashmod Zaqah, 28, had his hands cuffed behind his back and was blindfolded before he was beaten by at least six soldiers during a period of two hours, periodicly he lost consciousness and couldnt feel his legs or fingers. His family managed to smuggle him to Rafidia hospital in Nablus. He suffers a dislocated shoulder, back injuries, and a badly twisted ankle.
Accourding to eyewitnesses, around 300 israeli settlers, of whom some were masked, entered the village on saturday the 12th of March and threw stones at windows, injuring two Awarta residents by breaking their arms. Villagers tried to protect homes while israeli soldiers responded by shooting teargas at the villagers.
It has been reported that children were bitten by the israeli military dogs that the soldiers had with them. A young physically disabled man was bitten by a dog which resulted in his hospitalisation. Loay Medjet Abdet is now scared to go inside his own home because he believes the dogs will attack him again.
For the activists, it was clear that the repression against Awarta was only a form of collective punishment. When one activist asked: ”Why do you have to punish all this people?” The solider responded with: ”We have to punish these people so they will understand.”
Even though this kind of systematic collective punishment is illegal according to International law, is it frequently used by the Israeli military all over the West Bank and in Gaza.
When medical vehicles tried to access the area they were stopped by Israeli forces. ISM activists went to the checkpoint near Awarta on March 15 and reported that ambulances were being held several hours before they could enter the village. As an occupying force, Israel is obligated under article 56 of the Geneva Conventions not to hinder the work of medical personnel in a conflict zone.

Updated on March 20, 2011

Facebook Activist Charged With Incitement And “Humiliating Public Employee”

Thursday March 17, 2011 08:29 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

A Palestinian Facebook activist from Sakhnin, north of the country, was kidnapped by the Israeli police on Wednesday and was placed under interrogation on charges of “inciting violence, and humiliating a public employee”.
Mohammad Ghanayim - Image Arabs48
Mohammad Ghanayim - Image Arabs48
The activist, Mohammad Ghanayim, was detained on Wednesday at dawn when a “Crime Prevention” unit of the Israeli police broke into his home in Sahknin and kidnapped him, according to the Arabs48 news website.

Ghanayim was accused of “inciting violence” through his Facebook page, and for publishing “incitement materials” on the Arabs48 website, according to the police.

The police claimed that Ghanayim was advocating through his Facebook page for the death of an Arab officer who serves in the Israeli military north of the country.

The Israeli prosecution said that he used his Facebook page to voice a threat to murder an officer, in addition to humiliating a public employee.

The director of the Arabs48 Website, Iz Ed-Deen Badran, said that he had no idea about the alleged threat, but said he believed the issue apparently related to a comment Ghanayim made on the Arabs48 website through his Facebook account.

Badran criticized the arrest of Ghanayim and denounced the Israeli police for ignoring incitement and death threats made by fundamentalist Jews against the Palestinian Arabs in the country.

Speaking to the Arabs48 website, Lawyer Mohammad Tarbiyya said that he was not allowed to meet his client, because the police told him that he could not meet his client until they completed an interrogation of Tarbiyya’s family in Sakhnin.

An Israeli court rejected the police’s refusal to allow Ghanayim access to his lawyer, and allowed the lawyer to meet Ghanayim before he was sent to court.

Lawyer Fuad Sultani said that the police dropped the incitement to murder charge, and are instead pressing charges of incitement to violence, terror, and humiliating a public employee.

Sultani further stated that the police immediately issued a statement to the media claiming that “incitement” had been published on the Arabs48 website. He said that the police are desperately trying to make links between acts that could potentially happen, and comments published as a personal opinion criticized military services.

Both Sultani and Tarbiyya said that the court refused to extend the remand of Tarbiyya for an additional week as requested by the prosecution, and only extended his remand until Sunday under the pretext that “there are more suspects that are currently under interrogation” while three more will be interrogated soon.

Gazans protest abduction of engineer

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Friends and family members of a Gaza engineer held a sit-in Tuesday in front of UN headquarters in Gaza City protesting Israel's abduction of Dirar Abu Sisi, director of Gaza's sole power plant.

Abu Sisi went missing on February 19 after boarding a train in the Ukraine during a visit to his wife's family. On Sunday, Israeli media confirmed earlier reports that he was abducted by Israeli officials after the state partially lifted a gag order on reporting the man's disappearance.

The gathered protesters were demanding his release.

The engineer's son, 10-year-old Mousa, held a photo of his father and urged the Ukrainian president to pressure Israel to release him. He said his father was held in Israel's Ashkelon prison "for no offense."

Abu Sisi's sister delivered a speech on behalf of the family refuting Israeli reports that her brother was affiliated with resistance factions in the Gaza Strip.

"The Abu Sisi family condemns this Israeli slander against Palestinian scholars and thinkers," she said.

Protesters also appealed to human rights groups to lobby for Abu Sisi's freedom.

A delegation representing the Gaza Strip's union of engineers joined the sit-in, including union chief Kan'an Ubeid. They raised posters in English and Arabic calling on Ukrainian authorities to intervene and free their colleague.

"Where is my father Dr Dhirar Abu Sisi?" read one sign.

Following the official's disappearance in February, his wife asked the Ukrainian interior ministry for help in establishing his whereabouts, and said she suspected he was kidnapped by Israel's Mossad.

Israeli courts imposed a gag order on the country's media, banning reports on the man's disappearance. After the order was partially lifted, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz confirmed that the man was held in Israel, but said "Much of the rest of the details remain under gag order."

Red Cross: Family visits in prison were suspended for Jewish holidays

[ 21/03/2011 - 11:33 AM ]

JENIN, (PIC)-- The Red Cross said the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) cancelled prison visits scheduled for Monday due to Jewish holidays and the cordon imposed on the West Bank.
The Red Cross added that Palestinian families were scheduled to visit their sons and relatives in Nafha, Ramon and Megiddo prisons on Monday.
The IOA does not make up for the lost visits, the Red Cross said.
In a separate incident, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday evening set up a checkpoint on the road lining the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus and begun checking identities and searching vehicles without any reported arrests.
Security has been tightened on checkpoints between Jenin and Ramallah for the last two weeks which restricted the movement of Palestinian citizens.
Separately, the Israeli prison authority blocked a lawyer from visiting isolated prisoner Abbas Al-Sayyid on Sunday in a bid to break his two-week hunger strike, Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights reported.
The prison also placed restrictions on doctor visits and confiscated the prisoner's electric equipment, director of the center Fouad Al-Khafsh said.
Sayyid was sentenced to additional six months in solitary confinement after he refused to break his hunger strike.

Detainee Abu Sisi Discloses Detail of His Kidnapping in Ukraine to PCHR Lawyer, PCHR Calls for Immediate Release of Abu Sisi


Monday, 21 March 2011 11:30
Ref: 22/2011

On 19 February 2011, members of the national intelligence agency of Israel (Mossad) kidnapped Derar Mousa Yousef Abu Sisi, 42 while he was in the Ukraine. Mr. Abu Sisi is the Director of the Operations, Department in Gaza Power Generation Plant. Mossad then transferred Abu Sisi to Israel. Abu Sisi is currently being detained in Ashkelon prison. Yesterday, 20 March 2011, a lawyer from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) managed to visit Abu Sisi for the first time.

Abu Sisi told the PCHR lawyer that on 19 February 2011 he was travelling by train from Kharkov to Kiev to meet with his brother Yousef who was coming from the Netherlands. Abu Sisi stated that three persons, two in military uniforms, entered his room on the train. They asked him to show his passport but he refused. Then they threatened him and forcefully took his passport. They forced him to get off the train at the nearby station of Poltava. At this time he was handcuffed and hooded. He was transported in a car to Kiev. Once in Kiev he was held in an apartment where there were another six persons who introduced themselves to be members of the Mossad. Abu Sisi said that the Mossad members immediately questioned him and then flew him by plane. The flight lasted between four and five hours before landing in a place unknown to him. Approximately thirty minutes later, they took off again and the flight lasted for approximately one hour. Upon landing Abu Sisi found himself in Israel. Abu Sisi told the PCHR lawyer that he was denied contact with a lawyer for fourteen days. This denial was extended for another eleven days. He said that he was placed under intensive interrogations and that he was denied his legal rights.

 It should be noted that the Israeli security authorities imposed a media blackout regarding the kidnapping of Abu Sisi and prevented lawyers from visiting him to check on his health and provide legal assistance during the second period.
After knowing the details from Abu Sisi, PCHR has doubts about whether there was collusion from international parties in the kidnapping. Especially as Abu Sisi was not legally arrested by Ukrainian authorities and he did not have any appearances in domestic courts. PCHR has concerns over the deterioration of Abu Sisi's health and notes that he has cholelithiasis and he takes blood thinning medicines. He is experiencing serious psychological problems after going into long and continued investigation sessions. PCHR calls for the immediate release of Abu Sisi.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Palestinian women prisoners shackled during childbirth


Palestinian women prisoners shackled during childbirth
Mehru Jaffer
Female Palestinian prisoners detained in Israel are often denied legal representation and medical care while being housed in squalid conditions that can include sharing cells with rodents.

According to Fabrizia Falcione, a women's human rights officer for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), now part of UN WOMEN, told IPS that it is crucial to reveal the human face behind this breach of international law and international humanitarian law in order to address the plight of Palestinian political prisoners, including women and children.

Since 1967, more than 700,000 Palestinians have been arrested or detained in Israeli prisons and detention centers. Approximately 10,000 of these prisoners were women.

Today, 37 female Palestinian prisoners continue to be held in Israeli prisons -- out of a total of about 7,500 inmates. The reason is primarily political -- most of the prisoners are members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Falcione's work includes providing legal aid and representation to female prisoners, psychosocial support to family members of prisoners, and preparation for release and reintegration of prisoners into family and society.

This week Falcione participated in the first international meeting of its kind organized by the United Nations to focus on the question of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention. During the two-day meet she took time out to talk to IPS about the absolute urgency of specifically addressing the rights of female prisoners.

IPS: What are the most immediate concerns for Palestinian women prisoners in Israeli prisons today?

Fabrizia Falcione: The situation of Palestinian women and minors in Israeli detention facilities is bad. In terms of numbers, Palestinian female political prisoners and detainees in Israel prisons almost disappear compared to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian male political prisoners. But the plight of female prisoners is worse than the men.

The situation, condition and violations faced by women in jails in Israel needs to be addressed from a gender perspective. At present the number of women prisoners is considerably lower than before, but women and girls continue to be arrested, their special needs continue to be neglected and their rights violated.

IPS: You talk of physical and psychological problems faced by female prisoners. What do you mean?

FF: There is medical neglect and lack of specialized medical services for the prevention and treatment of illnesses of women.

The female prisoners at present are mainly incarcerated in two Israeli facilities in Hasharon and Damon -- both of them located outside the occupied [West Bank and Gaza Strip], in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Former Palestinian female prisoners in both these prisons and family members of women currently in prison say that the cells are infested with insects, particularly cockroaches as well as rodents. A former inmate released a few months ago said, "No matter how hard I try to describe the cell to you, I cannot. It is like an underground grave ... There are so many insects in the cell, the mattresses and cover sheet were damp and smelled awful. Sewage was overflowing. I could barely make my ablutions to pray."

Beyond general healthcare there is no gynecological support. Women require medical attention regularly, which is their right during confinement as recognized by CEDAW [the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women].

The great majority of Palestinian women political prisoners in Israeli prisons suffer from various health problems.

IPS: Is it true that pregnant women are shackled during childbirth?

FF: It is true. Pregnant women are shackled while giving birth, and soon after. There is a total lack of medical care, particularly during childbirth. Women lament that infants born to them are taken away after two years. In Israeli prisons, the rights of Palestinian women prisoners is recognized, but not respected.

IPS: And the psychological concerns?

FF: Women bear the brunt of the infringement upon their cultural and religious rights. A former prisoner said, "They took away my jilbab [long dress] and gave me their special brown prisoner uniform. It was short sleeved. I asked for a long sleeved shirt that I could wear under the uniform. Again they refused. I moved between cells among male guards in a short-sleeved uniform ... what hurt me most were the insults they hurled at me."

Women's privacy is violated and male guards conduct room searches without any consideration for religious norms. Prisoners are counted four times a day, including very early in the morning, and punishment is inflicted if women are found asleep or do not reply immediately to the count.

The most troubling aspect is the denial of family visitation rights. Family visits to prisoners are allowed twice a month, theoretically, but are drastically restricted due to the fact that the prisons are outside the occupied Palestinian territory.

A round-trip visit to the prison is a ten-hour journey -- not only due to geographical distance but also because the movement of Palestinians in Israel is controlled. If families succeed in making the journey, they are allowed to visit for thirty minutes -- speaking through a thick glass divider that prevents any physical contact, even between mother and child. This affects the well-being of not just the mother but also the children. The break in family and social relations is severe on the psychological state of the women.

IPS: What exactly is the crime of these women?

FF Many women are imprisoned without trial for belonging to organizations banned by Israel, under the guise of protecting the national security of the state.

Untried Palestinian women political prisoners are detained in Neve Terza prison in the women's section allocated to convicted criminal offenders in clear violation of Rule 85 of the United Nations standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners that says "Untried prisoners shall be kept separate from convicted prisoners."

This allows Israeli prisoners to threaten and humiliate Palestinian women through verbal and physical abuse. Palestinian women prisoners and detainees are further prevented from using prison facilities like pens, reading material and recreational time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Report: Israel admits to abduction of Gaza engineer


TEL AVIV (Ma'an) -- Israeli media released details on the abduction of Gaza engineer Dirar Abu Sisi on Sunday, after the country partially lifted its gag order on the plight of the Power Plant official who went missing in the Ukraine in February.

In a report released in the Israeli daily news site Haaretz, said only that "Sisi was arrested by Israel as part of an investigation. Much of the rest of the details remain under gag order."

Earlier in March, an Israeli court in Petah Tikva upheld a ban on publishing any information from Israel about the mysterious disappearance of Abu Sisi on February 19, when he boarded a train in the Ukraine during a visit to his wife's family. Relatives said he was seeking to establish Ukrainian citizenship during the trip.

Two weeks ago, the Ukrainian interior ministry said it had received a request from Abu Sisi's wife "to establish the whereabouts of her husband who disappeared in unknown circumstances," spokesman Sergiy Burlakov said.

He said Abu Sisi was reported to have disappeared on a train between Kiev and the northern city of Kharkiv and that his wife said he could be in Israel.

Campaign launched to save life of kidney patient in Israeli jail

[ 19/03/2011 - 06:50 AM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Palestinian prisoner society launched a campaign to demand international organizations to intervene to save the life of prisoner Abdelkhaliq Gurani and provide him with urgent appropriate medical treatment.

Director of the society in Tubas city Mahmoud Sawafta said the Israeli administration of Megiddo prison refuses to provide him with serious medical treatment despite the deterioration of his health.

Sawafta added that prisoner Gurani suffers from kidney failure and severe anemia, and his health reached a deadly level as a result of the medical neglect policy pursued in general against all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

He expressed his deep concern over the life of the prisoner and appealed to international human rights organization, especially the Red Cross to urgently intervene to save his life.

Silwan committee: Detained children gone through behavioral changes

[ 19/03/2011 - 08:13 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- According to a study by the Silwan defense committee, children from Jerusalem's Silwan district have undergone marked behavioral changes after being detained in Israeli prisons.
The restrictions placed on them could have negative long-term effects, Silwan committee member Fakhri Abu Diab said in a press statement Friday.
He said dozens of children have been dealt with harshly in Israeli prisons and during investigations.
He pointed out several cases of hysteria, mental disorders, nightmares, fear of darkness, speech impediments and aggressive chills, illnesses not present prior to their detention.
He said families and teachers have noticed major behavioral changes after they were released from Israeli prisons.
Abu Diab called on children's rights groups to act urgently to protect Jerusalem's children and help treat those affected by the Israeli policy targeting.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Disabled Palestinian detained at Jordan border

Published Saturday 19/03/2011 (updated) 19/03/2011 01:25
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities on Wednesday detained a young man who left to Jordan for treatment, at the Al-Karamah border crossing, activist Ahmad Al-Bitawi said.

Muhamad Saker, 24, from Askar refugee camp in Nablus, was detained while traveling from Jordan after two weeks of treatment as he was suffering hemiplegia.

He has been shot twice by Israeli soldiers, according to his mother. The first time was in 2003 and the second in 2006. The injuries made him hemiplegic, she said.

Rafah man freed after 40 days in jail

Published Saturday 19/03/2011 (updated) 19/03/2011 01:20

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israeli authorities released on Thursday detainee Muhammad Musa Zu’rob, 35, from Rafah after 40 days in jail.

Muhammad was detained when he was travelling with his cousin to Israel for treatment via the Erez border crossing.

The detainees’ center reported that detainee Ghassan Abu Salah from Beit Hanoun was sentenced to 17 years.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DCI-Palestine Detention Bulletin - Issue 14 - February 2011

16 March 2011
Detention Bulletin - Issue 14 - February 2011

DCI-Palestine's monthly bulletin on detention issues.

UK parliamentary report highlights widespread detention of Palestinian children

DCI- Palestine 16 March 2011
UK parliamentary report highlights widespread detention of Palestinian children

According to the report, the situation of child prisoners "is totally unacceptable and the mass arrest and ill treatment of children has to end."

UN Report highlights abuse of Palestinian children in the OPT

DCI- Palestine 16 March 2011
UN Report highlights abuse of Palestinian children in the OPT

UN recommends that Palestinian children should not be prosecuted before Israeli military courts and detained inside Israel.

Voices from the Occupation - Soldier Violence

DCI- Palestine 16 March 2011
Voices from the Occupation - Soldier Violence

On 3 February 2011, a 6-year-old boy is dragged out of bed by Israeli soldiers during a night time raid on his home, and is hospitalised with back and head injuries.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jailed Bil’in Protest Organizer, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, Released One Day Behind Schedule

14 March 2011 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
Abdallah Abu Rahmah shortly after he was released. Credit: Simon Krieger

Abu Rahmah was released this evening, after having served the 16 months sentence imposed on him by the Israeli Military Court of Appeals for organizing demonstrations. Abu Rahmah was received by his family, friends and supporters at the prison’s gate and vowed to continue the struggle. After much delay, Abu Rahmah who was supposed to have already been released yesterday, was finally released from the Ofer Military Prison this evening. He was received by hundreds who waited for him at the prison’s gate.
Abu Rahmah, who during his trial was declared a human rights defender by the EU and a prisoner of conscious by Amnesty International, vowed to continue struggling against the Occupation, despite his unjust imprisonment and the six-months suspended sentence still imposed on him. He said, “On my release, I have no intention to go back home and sit there idly. In fact, by imprisoning me they have silenced me long enough. Our cause is just, it is one striving for freedom and equality, and I intend to continue fighting for it just as I have before”.
Media Contact: Jonathan Pollak +972-54-632-7736
Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was arrested last year by soldiers who raided his home at the middle of the night and was subsequently indicted before an Israeli military court on unsubstantiated charges that included stone-throwing and arms possession. Abu Rahmah was cleared of both the stone-throwing and arms possession charges, but convicted of organizing illegal demonstrations and incitement.
An exemplary case of mal-use of the Israeli military legal system in the West Bank for the purpose of silencing legitimate political dissent, Abu Rahmah’s conviction was subject to harsh international criticism. The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, expressed her deep concern “that the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahma is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest[...]“, after EU diplomats attended all hearings in Abu Rahmah’s case. Ashton’s statement was followed by one from the Spanish Parliament.
Renowned South African human right activist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, called on Israel to overturn Abu Rahmah’s conviction on behalf of the Elders, a group of international public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates, brought together by Nelson Mandela. Members of the Elders, including Tutu, have met with Abu Rahmah on their visit to Bil’in prior to his arrest.
International human rights organization Amnesty International condemned Abu Rahmah’s conviction as an assault on the right to freedom of expression, and declared him a prisoner of conscious. Human Rights Watch denounced the conviction as well, pronouncing the whole process “an unfair trial”.
Israeli human rights organizations also criticized the conviction – including statements by B’Tselem, which raises the issue of questionable testimonies by minors used to convict Abu Rahmah, and The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) which highlights the impossibility of organizing legal demonstrations for Palestinians in the West Bank.
Legal Background
Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was acquitted of two out of the four charges brought against him in the indictment – stone-throwing and a ridiculous and vindictive arms possession charge. According to the indictment, Abu Rahmah collected used tear-gas projectiles and bullet casings shot at demonstrators, with the intention of exhibiting them to show the violence used against demonstrators. This absurd charge is a clear example of how eager the military prosecution is to use legal procedures as a tool to silence and smear unarmed dissent.
The court did, however, find Abu Rahmah guilty of two of the most draconian anti-free speech articles in military legislation: incitement, and organizing and participating in illegal demonstrations. It did so based only on testimonies of minors who were arrested in the middle of the night and denied their right to legal counsel, and despite acknowledging significant ills in their questioning.
The court was also undeterred by the fact that the prosecution failed to provide any concrete evidence implicating Abu Rahmah in any way, despite the fact that all demonstrations in Bil’in are systematically filmed by the army.
Under military law, incitement is defined as “The attempt, verbally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the Area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order” (section 7(a) of the Order Concerning Prohibition of Activities of Incitement and Hostile Propaganda (no.101), 1967), and carries a 10 years maximal sentence.
Updated on March 15, 2011

Comrade Abu Ghoulmeh's isolation extended; calls for action to end division

PFLP website

ahed abu ghulmeh
Comrade Wafa Abu Ghoulmeh reported on March 9, 2011 that her husband, imprisoned Comrade Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh has been subjected to a renewal of his solitary confinement in Ramle prison by the Zionist prison administration. His term in isolation had been set to expire on March 2, 2011. 

In a statement to the Information Office of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Comrade Wafa Abu Ghoulmeh said that this action by the prison administration will not shake her husband's steadfastness and that all forms of terror or pressure exerted against him will find no success.

She said that her husband joined with the call of the imprisoned leader, General Secretary of the PFLP, Comrade Ahmad Sa'adat, supporting the youth and activists of the Palestinian national movement and calling upon our people to participate in all activities and mass movements to end the division and confront the occupation, saying that all prisoners in the occupation's jails are in unity with these actions and demonstrations. 

Comrade Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh has been isolated since January 14, 2010 and repeatedly denied family visits. Abu Ghoulmeh, who was accused by the occupation of being the leader of the Abu Ali Mustafa, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in the West Bank, was abducted along with Comrade Ahmad Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the PFLP, from the Palestinian Authority's Jericho prison on March 14, 2006, where they had been held under US and British guard. His sister, Comrade Linan Abu Ghoulmeh, is also held in occupation jails and another sister, Comrade Taghreed Abu Ghoulmeh, was recently released after six months in administrative detention. 

EU Parliament to review prison conditions inside Israel

 March 09, 2011


[9 March 2011] - On 15 March 2011, the EU Parliament's Sub-Committee on Human Rights will review prison conditions in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In advance of the hearing, DCI-Palestine has lodged a submission relating to conditions faced by Palestinian child detainees held in Israeli interrogation and detention facilities and prisons.
DCI-Palestine's submission to the Sub-Committee provides evidence of ill-treatment and torture during the initial stages of detention, and also includes:

  • Information that 27 percent of Palestinian child detainees are forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew.
  • Information that 58 percent of Palestinian child detainees are being held inside Israel, in contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention;
  • Information indicating that as many as 43 percent of child detainees are not adequately separated from adult prisoners;
  • Evidence that 55 percent of Palestinian child detainees complain of inadequate food, water or shelter;
  • Information suggesting that most Palestinian child detainees do not receive family visits during the first three months of their detention, and no Palestinian child detainees are permitted to maintain telephone communication with their families;
  • Evidence that Palestinian child detainees receive inadequate education services inside prison, and in some cases, no education at all; and
  • Evidence that children held in the Al Jalame Interrogation and Detention Centre near Haifa, are routinely subjected to serious mistreatment, including position abuse, sleep depravation and solitary confinement.
DCI-Palestine continues to demand that all interrogations of Palestinian child detainees be audio-visually recorded, and no Palestinian child is detained inside Israel, in contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

IOA refuses visits to detainees in Hawara

[ 13/03/2011 - 05:52 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has barred lawyers of the international Tadamun society for human rights from visiting Palestinian detainees in Hawara detention center near Nablus.
Ahmed Al-Beitawi, a researcher with Tadamun, said that most of the detainees are from Orta village, who were rounded up following the Itamar murders on Saturday, and were taken to Hawara.
He said that his society managed to obtain a list of those held in Hawara but was denied visiting them.
Beitawi noted that all of them were detained after midnight and need clothes.

Geneva conference: 2011 a year for Palestinian women in Israeli jails

[ 13/03/2011 - 12:50 PM ]

GENEVA, (PIC)-- 2011 was declared as the year of Palestinian female prisoners during the first international conference on the rights of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails which concluded its sessions in Geneva on Saturday evening.
The conferees discussed in details on Friday and Saturday at the UN headquarters and the conference palace in Geneva the incarceration condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails as well as in other countries' prisons.
The effective participation of Swiss, French, British and Greek political activists in the conference clearly reflected that the suffering of Palestinian prisoners is no longer an internal Palestinian affair and that the policy of deception and disinformation used by Israel does not work anymore with the international community.
The European network to support the rights of the Palestinian prisoners, one of the main organizers of the conference, stated that it would make 2011 a year for the support of Palestinian women imprisoned in Israeli jails.
Indonesian lawmaker Nour Hayati, for her part, said her country would host next year an international conference on the support of Palestinian women.
Swiss, French and British politicians called in their speeches for increasing international pressure on Israel in order to isolate it and for prosecuting its officials in international courts.
The European network also revealed that it formed a group of media and legal committees to activate the issue of Palestinian prisoners and file complaints on their behalf with international tribunals, and declared its intention to establish a number of projects for the support of prisoners and their families.

Ufree: Palestinians have broken world prison time record

[ 12/03/2011 - 08:14 AM ]

GENEVA, (PIC)-- The Palestinians have broken world records in prison time, said Mohammed Hamdan, the director-general of the Oslo-based European Network to Support the Rights of Palestinian Prisoners (Ufree).
Ufree has staged the ”working for justice” conference promoting the Palestinian POW cause at the symbolic UN headquarters in Geneva.
”More than 750,000 Palestinians have passed through the Israeli prisons, and at least 6,000 remain there in captivity,” Hamdan said in a press statement to promote the conference due for Friday and Saturday. ”The Palestinian captives have broken world records in captivity time.”
He added that the conference was ”aimed at turning the world's attention to the serious crime and injustice on prisoners for decades.”
Hamdan said the conference will be attended by parliamentarians and rights groups from Europe, Asia, and America and has no political dimensions.
In an incident related to the Palestinian prisoners' suffering in Israeli jails, the Waed Captives and Liberators Society in Palestine has reported that the Israeli Nafha prison has denied prisoners access to hot water and cut down on the hours of supply.
Waed says the step is part of a ”systematic policy to crack down on the prisoners.”

TURKEY: Conscientious objector Halil Savda sentenced to five months' imprisonment for solidarity with Israeli conscientious objectors

  • Turkey

Halil SavdaHalil SavdaTurkish conscientious objector Halil Savda has been finally sentenced on 3 March 2011 to five months' imprisonment for a solidarity statement for Israeli conscientious objectors Itzik Shabbat and Amir Pastar on 1 August 2006.
Halil Savda was initially sentenced on 2 June 2008 by the Sultanahmet 1st Court of First Instance in Istanbul to five months' imprisonment for the press statement (see Bianet, 3 June 2008, but appealed against the sentence. This sentence was now upheld and finalised by the Court of Appeals.
Various institutions and committees released a press statement to protest the prison sentences handed down to Halil Savda and other conscientious objectors. Savda's sentence was upheld and finalized by the Court of Appeals, Bianet reported on 4 March 2011.
In June 2010, Halil Savda was sentenced in a similar case - a statement in support of then imprisoned Turkish conscientious objector Enver Aydemir - to six months' imprisonment, together with three co-defendants (see Bianet 18 June 2010. An appeal against this sentence is still pending.
Article 318 of the Turkish Penal Code represents an unfair limitation of the right to freedom of expression in Turkey, and is considered to be in direct breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which protect the right to freedom of expression and to which Turkey is a state party.
More information on Article 318 is available at .
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Turkish authorities, and Turkish embassies abroad.
Presidency of the Turkish Republic: Fax +90-312-4271330, email
A protest email to the Turkish President Abdullah Gül can be sent at

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sixth Prison Term for Conscientious Objector Ajuad Zidan

New Profile

- Please distribute widely -CO Ajuad ZidanConscientious objector Ajuad Zidan was sentenced for the sixth time in a row for his refusal to enlist, this time to 30 days in prison.
We have learned that CO Ajuad Zidan, was sentenced to 30 days of imprisonment on 27 Feb. for his refusal to enlist. This is now his sixth (!) term in prison. Since our previous update on his case he has been going in and out of prison repeatedly, sentenced again and again for his refusal to join the military, and persisting in his refusal. By the time his current term ends, he will have spent a total of more than four months behind bars, with no end in sight.
Throughout this period, Ajuad has repeatedly appealed to receive a hearing from the so-called “Conscience Committee” – an internal military panel that is the only body reviewing appeals for exemption by conscientious objectors in Israel. However, his requests to appear before this committee were flatly ignored.
Ajuad Zidan is due to be released from prison on 25 March, and is likely to be imprisoned again afterwards. His address in prison is:
    Ajuad Zidan Military ID 5810026 Military Prison No. 6 Military Postal Code 01860, IDF Israel Fax: ++972-4-9540580
Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.
Recommended Action
First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.
Other recommendations for action:
1. Sending Letters of Support
Please send Ajuad Zidan letters of support to the prison address above and to
2. Letters to Authorities
It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to:
    Mr. Ehud Barak, Minister of Defence, Ministry of Defence, Hakirya, Tel-Aviv 64743, Israel. E-mail: or Tel.: ++972-3-6975540 or ++972-3-6975423 Fax: ++972-3-6976711
Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:
    Commander of Military Prison No. 6, Military Prison No. 6 Military Postal Code 01860, IDF Israel Fax: ++972-4-9540580
Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General (note updated fax number):
    Avichai Mandelblit, Chief Military Attorney Military postal code 9605, IDF Israel Fax: ++972-3-569-45-26
It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:
    Gadi Agmon, Commander of Induction Base, Meitav, Tel-HaShomer Military Postal Code 02718, IDF Israel. Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52
For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.
Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners’ behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:
    Dear Sir/Madam, It has come to my attention that Ajuad Zidan from the town of Beit Jann (military ID 5810026), a conscientious objector to military service, has been imprisoned for the sixth time in a row for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 6 near Atlit. The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Ajuad Zidan is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. This is especially clear in cases, such as Zidan’s, in which conscientious objectors are being sentenced repeatedly for their self-same decision to refuse enlistment. I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Ajuad Zidan, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future. Sincerely,
3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries
Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.
Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:
    Ma’ariv: 2 Karlibach st. Tel-Aviv 67132 Israel Fax: +972-3-561-06-14 e-mail:
    Yedioth Aharonoth: 2 Moses st. Tel-Aviv Israel Fax: +972-3-608-25-46
    Ha’aretz (Hebrew): 21 Schocken st. Tel-Aviv, 61001 Israel Fax: +972-3-681-00-12
    Ha’aretz (English edition): 21 Schocken st. Tel-Aviv, 61001 Israel Fax: +972-3-512-11-56 e-mail:
    Radio (fax numbers): Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15 and +972-3-694-47-09 Galei Zahal +972-3-512-67-20
    Television (fax numbers): Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36 Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09 Channel 10 +972-3-733-16-66
We will continue updating on further developments.


ISRAEL: Sixth prison term for conscientious objector Ajuad Zidan

07 Mar 2011 — warresisters
  • Israel

Ajuad ZidanAjuad ZidanWar Resisters' International learnt today that Israeli conscientious objector Ajuad Zidan has been sentenced to a sixth (!) prison term, this time of 30 days, on 27 February 2011.
Since November 2010, when he first sentenced 10 days' imprisonment for refusal to enlist, he has been in and out of prison.
Ajuad Zidan, 18, from the town of Beit Jann, a Palestinian member of the Druze religious community. Members of the Druze community, unlike most other Palestinian citizens of Israel, are conscripted into the Israeli army. Explaining his refusal to enlist Ajuad Zidan stated to the press that “the loneliness of the prison cell is one thousand times better than standing in front of my people while pointing a gun at them, or imposing a curfew on them”. On top of that, Ajuad Zidan has also stated his refusal to carry weapons or be part of any military force in general.
Ajuad Zidan is due to be released from prison on 25 March, and is likely to be imprisoned again afterwards.
War Resisters' International calls of letter of support to Ajuad Zidan.
Ajuad Zidan
Military ID 5810026
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Fax: +972-4-9540580
Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: They will be printed out and delivered during visits.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Israeli authorities, and Israeli embassies abroad. An email letter to Israels Minister of Defence Ehud Barak can be sent at
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of conscientious objector Ajuad Zidan, and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.
Andreas Speck

War Resisters' International